Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – March 4th, 2016

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) worked with other officers from districts 1 and 2 on Lake of the Woods. Multiple anglers and snowmobilers were checked during the course of two days. CO Mishler responded to a one-person snowmobile accident near Swift; CO Mishler and CO Eric Benjamin were the first on scene of the crash. The subject was looking at the route for a race being held the following day, and tried to jump a bank in the ditch, without knowing there was a second bank beyond it. Friends of the subject estimate he was going around 70 mph when he hit the bank (speed limit is 50mph). The impact with the berm caused the operator to be launched from his snowmobile. He was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) conducted a snowmobile safety class in Kelliher. Assistance was provided to the sheriff’s office regarding an individual inside his own residence, shooting a 9mm handgun out the windows. The officers could hear bullets flying around them. The subject was taken into custody and no one was injured. Assistance also was provided to the sheriff’s office with a suicidal individual who stated he wanted to commit suicide “by cop.” 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time checking ice angling and spearing activity on area lakes. Aeration inspections were done. 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and monitored fish house removal.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers on area lakes and patrolled local snowmobile trails. CO Vollbrecht also worked a detail with CO Quittschreiber on Red Lake, checking several anglers. Paperwork for pending DWI cases was mailed to the county attorney’s office. Complaints about individuals leaving garbage behind after moving their ice shelters were taken. Investigations are ongoing, with several people receiving citations for litter. 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking anglers, snowmobilers, and ATVing activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports monitoring fish houses and taking note of those that may be difficult to remove by the removal date. A complaint about pike left on the ice was taken.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time on angling activity on area lakes. CO Warren also received calls regarding motorized vehicle on a non-motorized lake, and a deer caught in a snare. 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead), along with several other area officers, attended the funeral for Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continued to work with local organizations and Trails and Waterways in developing an ATV trail in the area.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked area lakes for garbage and frozen-in fish houses. Fish houses have been marked by GPS to ensure that garbage or litter left by the owners can be traced. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) checked station lakes for fish house problems and worked litter complaints. Most fish houses have been removed from area lakes due to unseasonably warm weather. 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports deer-related complaints/investigations were followed up on and closed out, and predator-hunting activity was monitored. Assistance was given to the Todd County Sheriff’s Office regarding a vehicle that partially broke through the ice on Little Sauk Lake.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers, snowmobilers, and ATVers. CO Hunter was involved in the pursuit of a vehicle occupied by an individual with multiple felony warrants. 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked anglers and fish houses before the closing of the seasons and the fish house removal date. Assistance was provided to a citizen regarding a track near his house that most likely was that of a wolf. 

CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) checked ice fisherman enjoying the last week of walleye fishing. Some parties found walleyes in Walker Bay and were looking forward to eating some fresh fish. Most groups were experiencing a slow bite, but the entrées in the fish houses were top-notch, including shrimp, steak, and pork roast. Enforcement action was taken on smaller lakes in the area for no angling licenses, tip-ups farther than 200 feet away, and extra fishing lines.  

CO Chelsey Collette(Remer) worked fishing and snowmobiling enforcement during the week. Enforcement action was taken for operating motor vehicles on designated snowmobile trails, fishing without a license, and improper snowmobile registration. CO Collette also worked Red Lake with CO Quittschreiber, and enforcement action was taken there for possession of marijuana, extra lines, improper house markings, and failure to keep measurable carcasses.

CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) completed a report for an upcoming ATV DWI case. The CO also investigated ATV violations and met with the county attorney regarding the potential charges. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Ray) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement. The Rainy Lake Sport Fishing Club held its annual ice-fishing derby during the weekend. The Rainy River spring fishing meeting was attended with DNR Fisheries and Koochiching County personnel. CO Van Asch assisted a group of snowmobilers on Kabetogama Lake when a member of the party was found to be missing. The missing member was found and was safely escorted back to their group.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted 1854 officers and Boise Forte members with a kids ice-fishing clinic. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) finished up fishing-related cases and assisted a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent with an investigation. Enforcement action was taken for spearing without a license and a number of fish house-related violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Gilbert and investigated a report of wolf depredation in Cook. Fishing shelters are coming off of lakes. CO Frericks reminds the owners of these shelters that they need to remove all garbage and blocks used when they remove the houses. 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) responded to a residence where a bobcat was looking through a homeowner’s window, watching the house cats and dog. The homeowner was able to take close-up photos of this seemingly unafraid cat, and this same cat attacked his neighbor’s small dog, causing hundreds of dollars in vet expenses. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) was invited to help with a fishing clinic on Lake Vermilion put on by the 1854 Authority for area youth. CO Williams also patrolled areas of the BWCAW on foot.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports he found a spot where wolves recently fed on fresh moose meat. Enforcement action was taken for failing to register bears, no fishing license, and no trout stamps.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and snowmobiling activity. CO Schottenbauer also assisted at a snowmobile safety class.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) and his K9 partner, along with CO Scott Staples and his K9 partner, gave a K9 demonstration at the Safari Club International convention. COs Fairbanks and Staples also were requested to assist in locating a domestic assault suspect with multiple felony warrants who fled into the woods. The suspect was located and arrested. 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time last week checking snowmobiling and angling activity. Folks are reminded to get their new fishing licenses for the year.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) patrolled ice-angling activity with some late-season walleye and pike action taking place. Enforcement action was taken for angling with more than two lines and not having a license in possession. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) received several reports about wolves killing deer in backyards. If you feed deer, you may be creating an invitation for wolves, too. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working winter fishing along the North Shore and also inland lakes. Snowmobiling activity was worked on area trails and lakes. Several calls were returned, and a small-game violation continues to be investigated. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity and worked snowmobiling enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey worked with other officers on Fish Lake near Duluth where a vintage snowmobile event and fishing contest were held. CO Humphrey also assisted the State Patrol with two vehicle crashes on Hwy. 73. Reports on a trespassing case were submitted to the county attorney for a pending hearing. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) helped out with mock job interviews at a local school to help prepare outgoing seniors for the real world. Most of the fish houses have already been removed from area lakes. Some time was spent checking lakes to make sure garbage was not left behind. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers along the North Shore and reports the fishing has slowed. He assisted fellow District 8 Officers with the  annual Fish Lake vintage snowmobile run.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports calls regarding injured deer and dogs chasing deer were handled, and snowmobile trails were checked as many people made use of the decent snow and warm conditions. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) presented the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class and worked a snowmobile detail in the Ely area.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Ice anglers are out, but many anglers are removing permanent houses because of poor ice conditions and a slow bite. Complaints about garbage and wood blocks left behind were reported and investigated. A complaint that someone left a burnt car hood on a lake was investigated. The suspect was found, and a citation was issued. Some fishing violations observed were no licenses and unattended lines. 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports an overlimit complaint was investigated and the suspect was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and warned for littering cigarette butts on the ice. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling activity during the week. An angler trespass complaint was handled after three fishermen walked directly past signage for easy, legal access.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for snowmobile and angling activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also prepared numerous DWI reports to submit to the county attorney’s office. 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) followed up on information received during a contact made during Walker’s Eelpout Fest. Officer Lee learned that the ATV with no registration the party was operating was possibly stolen from a dealership in North Dakota. Information on the operator and incident were passed on to officials in North Dakota for continued investigation. 

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) checked several anglers and documented fish houses that appeared to be frozen in. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity. Verkuilen also investigated a motor vehicle in a prohibited area and monitored a trespass complaint. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers on area lakes. The warm weather brought a large number of people out to enjoy area events. The snow has deteriorated to nothing, prompting more ATVing activity. 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on Mille Lacs and area lakes. Several areas of state and county land were checked for ATV traffic and snowmobile traffic, and also for forestry violations. Assistance was given to DNR Fisheries at a Mille Lacs meeting. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the funeral of Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer. The CO also investigated another timber trespass/theft case. Enforcement action was taken for the violation. A permit from DNR Forestry is required to harvest wood for firewood in state forests. An unattended ice shelter with no shelter license or identification was located on a local lake. Upon closer investigation, three lines were observed frozen in the ice holes. Snowmobile tracks led the officer to a home on the lake where the owner of the shelter was located. The angler admitted to leaving the lines unattended and fishing with an extra line the previous night. The lines were reeled up, and a northern was discovered on one of them. The angler was cited for the violations.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports assistance was given to local police with a DUI arrest in which heroin use was suspected.   

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw snowmobiling activity come to a halt as a majority of the snow melted on trails and lakes. 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) followed up on calls about suspicious people in the Chengwatana State Forest, and a call about an abandoned ATV that was located. CO Wynn also checked anglers throughout the week and assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with a traffic stop and an alarm call. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling, ATVing, and small-game hunting activity. A career presentation was given to juniors at Melrose High School. While working one evening, CO Silgjord and WREO Bertram located an empty fishing shelter that had unattended lines down. Upon the return of the owner, it was found that he was using extra lines and game fish for bait. Enforcement action was taken. In another case, an angler removed his shelter license from his shelter and it appeared that the shelter was going to be left on the ice for someone else to clean up. But CO Silgjord earlier had secured photos of the shelter along with litter and wanton waste of fish next to it. The owner was located during the weekend and given citations for the violations. Assistance was provided for a vehicle that went through the ice. According to the driver, he got lost and attempted to exit Sauk Lake by driving up the river channel. The vehicle eventually found thin ice/open water and came to a stop. No one was hurt, and the vehicle was removed from the river channel the next day.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVers, and fish house/garbage issues. One angler was found to have caught a limit of fish in the morning, then returned in the afternoon to catch another limit. This angler also was in possession of a 31-inch northern on a protected slot lake (24 to 36 inches). 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) saw a column of black smoke rising from a wooded area. Investigating, he found a person burning a trailer house in attempt to dispose of the old structure. The person was uncooperative and belligerent. Additional officers had to respond to resolve the matter of the illegal burn, which requires a mandatory court appearance. 

CO Mike Krauel (St. Cloud) spent time checking anglers on area lakes, responding to nuisance/injured wildlife-related complaints, and completing radio and television interviews about ice shelter removal.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) attended the Outdoor News Deer and Turkey Show in St Paul. 

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked ice anglers during the week. ATVers also were out and about with the warmer weather. 

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) received calls about deceased owls/hawks and incidental trapping of fishers.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) investigated a complaint about a possible poached deer.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) reports a TIP call was received about construction close to an active eagle’s nest. It was determined that the contractor had a federal permit and was allowed to do the work until the young begin to leave the nest. 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) investigated an aggressive-turkey complaint.  

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) investigated a deer-baiting complaint in Bloomington and took calls about nuisance animals. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer also received a phone call regarding beavers causing damage.

CO Joe Kulhanek(Hastings) monitored angling activity throughout the area and rescued an injured bald eagle from Lock and Dam 2. 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) assisted a Michigan conservation officer with the confiscation of an illegal bobcat fur in Lakeville. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) completed an investigation of illegal dumping of deer carcasses, with enforcement action taken for littering and deer-registration violations discovered during the investigation. 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and conducting investigations. Area ice conditions are very poor. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week working the end of the walleye/northern season. With the light goose season starting March 1, hunters are reminded that it is illegal to shoot white-fronted (specklebelly) geese during this season.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent the week working ice-fishing and coyote-hunting enforcement. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) focused enforcement efforts on ice angling and ATVing activity. Vernier also talked with several individuals out shed antler hunting.  

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) started the week by doing commercial minnow inspections of minnow dealers in the area. Time also was spent at a commissioner’s listening session. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received a shining-related complaint and received questions regarding shelters. He also worked with a Canadian game warden on a big-game case where violations occurred across national boundaries. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) reports a trout overlimit was investigated, resulting in enforcement action being taken. 

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) assisted the DNR Wildlife Division with calls about a sick deer in Austin. Violations for the week included taking crows out of season and license violations.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) reports that while assisting local deputies locate a lost hunter, a dead cardinal was found in the woods. The lost hunter was found. A second hunter admitted to shooting the cardinal. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) investigated a complaint of excavation in a wetland and prepared boats for working the river.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and a few ATV operators. He introduced a group of teenagers to ice fishing and spoke with them about the duties of a conservation officer while on the ice. He also followed up on a TIP complaint about an overlimit of trout.

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